By Will Kraus, Bates College
Photos by Josh Muir, Endicott College
Video by Jacob Cohen, Boston University
June 19, 2019
Cotuit couldn’t quite muster the magic they did on Father’s Day.
While on Sunday Cotuit scored six unanswered runs at Y-D in the second half of a double-header, on Wednesday they couldn’t do the same in a 6-0 defeat to Wareham.
“Offensively, swing the bat and good things happen when you swing the bat.” Cotuit Coach Mike Roberts said when asked about how his Kettleers can improve. “We took some called third strikes and a lot of times they’re close pitches. But again you gotta swing the bat which I thought Wareham really threw the head on the bat extremely well today.”
The game actually started well for the Kettleers. In the bottom of the first Cotuit had a prime opportunity to take command of the game after starter Evan Justice (NC State) held Wareham scoreless in the top of the first.
Lead-off hitter Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State University) walked and Allbry Major (Xavier University) stung a ball into right to put men on the corners with no outs for the Kettleers.
Next up, Oraj Anu (Kentucky University) stepped to the plate from the right side and sent a blistering shot right at the second basemen, Darren Baker (UC-Berkely). Following Anu, clean-up hitter Parker Chavers (Coastal Carolina) was unfortunate as well, hitting the ball hard enough to shortstop Benjamin Sems (Kansas University) that Wareham was able to turn two and get out of the first unscathed.
No Kettleer would get past second the rest of the night.
A powerful combination of Wareham arms, Joseph Baran (East Stroudsburg, three innings), Brandon Pfaadt (Bellarmine, five innings), and Ben Leeper (Oklahoma State, one inning) stifled the powerful Cotuit line-up as Wareham improved to a 5-2-1 record to take sole possession of first place in the Western Division.
Cotuit starter Evan Justice (NC State) struggled through three and a third innings, as Wareham scored three times in the second and twice in the third. The Gatemen, who surprisingly went with an all lefty lineup against the left-handed Justice, combined for five runs and seven hits off of the Kettleers’ starter.
“Pitches have to change planes [to be effective,] which early in the game they did not today for Justice.” Roberts observed.
Christopher Holcomb (Tulane) came into right the ship in the fourth for Cotuit and pitched decently over one and two thirds innings allowing just one earned run that put Wareham ahead 6-0.
In the final four innings Matthew Mervis (Duke, two innings) and Richard Brereton (Emory University, two innings) kept the Kettleers behind just six, bringing enough heat to silence the Gatemen from enhancing their lead. But Cotuit just couldn’t find a rally to get back into it.
“I like our club a lot and I think our pitching is gonna matchup well with everyone in the league.” Roberts continued. “They just played better than we did today. They’ve got a good club and every team up here has a good club. You gotta be on it every day up here.”
Cotuit has certainly been ‘on it’ enough early in the season to keep a winning record (4-3-1) even after their first time being shutout in 2019.
The Kettleers will suit up against the Bourne Braves (3-4) on Thursday at Doran Park. Cotuit looks for their fifth win of the 2019 season with the first pitch set for 6 PM.